Monday, 14 April 2014

Important Mail and Exam Study Tips

On March 31st I received that fateful envelope from the CSMLS letting me know I passed the General MLT Exam - officially making me a Medical Laboratory Technologist! I'm excited to be able to put another set of letters behind my name ;)

It's Good!
It's GOOD! I PASSED!

I'm sure my apartment mail man was annoyed at my stalking his van everyday and leaving work on my break to frantically drive home and check the mail. I honestly was overwhelmed with anxiety once I saw friends receiving their letters letting them know they passed! The next time I have to receive results by mail I'm going to move to that city so I can receive them faster (ok, maybe not) but I'm thrilled that I can finally say I am a Medical Laboratory Technologist!


Now for those of you writing in the near future you are probably thinking "shut up! get to the exam study tips!" And I will. But I want to put a disclaimer that you have to remember to take how you study into consideration. Some people prefer to study alone, some people like to write their own notes etc. You have to know you the best and structure your studying time wisely! First, I'm going to answer some questions I know I had before I started studying for the CSMLS exam.

When did you start studying?

It's tough to say when exactly I started studying but I *officially* started studying with my planned method every night January 10th for my exam on February 20th. I was in clinical from September 3rd - February 7th and during this time I took my notes with me to the lab and studied during downtimes as well as I studied occasionally at night.

What did you use as a study guideline?

Print this out, frame it, make copies of it, tape it to walls - whatever you need to do to know it. The CSMLS Exam Handbook has the exact percentages of what types of questions you can expect to see. Obviously it's not going to say "5 questions on Salmonella" but it does break down which concepts you can expect like QC, safety, transfusion application questions etc.

How did you structure your studying?

I laid out a calendar with what subject I would be studying each night per week. By January I knew which subjects I would need to be studying more than others. For me, Micro, Heme and Transfusion were my strong subjects (especially since I was ending my clinical on Transfusion) so I focused less on those topics and more on Chemistry, Histology, Lab Math and the Safety Manual.

Ensuring your studying is structured will help prevent yourself from getting too focused on one subject. You have to remember that the exam covers EVERYTHING and just because you might know one subject really well that doesn't mean you should forget the other ones. In the same vein, you have to sometimes decide what you can and cannot learn in that amount of time. I know I had to forgo reviewing some topics because it was a lost cause at that point.

Nifty Study Calendar
Nifty Study Calendar

I highly recommend getting yourself a small calendar, printing one off the internet or getting a small flip pad to keep yourself organized and on track. I picked up this little flip pad for $1 at Target and it was one of my best purchases!

What were your study techniques?

Again, this is what worked for me and may not work for you.

First, I consolidated my notes into my own words on study sheets. This is a patented "Krista" method (even my classmates know that's how I study) that I've been using since university and helps me digest more information quickly. I turn large PowerPoints into short form notes with key points I need to know rather than having to flip through the 107 slides per lecture we are given. This also makes me write out the information in my own words and hopefully helps it stick in my memory.

Second, I used cue cards to make small note books with testing information, reference ranges and even SHORTER versions of my study notes so I could carry a lot of information with me at once and use them as memory joggers. These were usefully as I got closer to the exam and just needed to refresh my memory or locate information quickly.

2 of my many cue card sets!
2 of my many cue card sets!

I also used the QUICK REVIEW CARDS (which are finally coming out with a new edition this year!). These things are magic and if you don't want to consolidate your notes yourself I highly highly recommend them. They really have almost everything you should need to study everything except Histology since they are US cards for the ASCP exam. I did a full in-depth review last year which you can check out on my blog!

Lastly, I studied with two classmates that I studied with during my 2nd semester of school via Google Hangouts. We all lived in different cities so doing it online was the best way and also allowed us to have all our notes with us without having to haul them to the library. I've talked about Google Hangouts before  and how I used them successfully to raise my grades and I'm a huge advocate for it.

We quizzed each other using our notes, quiz sets from Laboratory Review Books and LabCE.com, where you can play a free quiz game. Keep in mind LabCE is an American site so some of the questions are a little off but generally it's a pretty good tool.

It has been shown in many studies that quizzing helps you to retain information better than you would without quizzing. It's helping you to apply the knowledge you've learned and actually think about what you've read rather than just reciting it back. Another benefit to studying with others is they might have a stronger grasp on a concept than you and vice versa. You can help each other out and think of things in different ways which is only going to help you in the end!

At the end of all the studying when I got to the exam I felt very prepared and actually felt like I had *over-studied* some things. I was expecting questions on a few things that I didn't see but there was the occasional surprise as well! The one thing to keep in mind is that if you've made it through your entire program and through clinical you are almost all the way there of being prepared.  You know more than you think you know and with proper studying and time management you can pass the exam too!

Congrats to those who passed and good luck to those writing!

-Krista, B.Sc, MLT

(Sorry I had to!)

38 comments:

  1. Congratulations. Well done on making MLT Brilliant :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations Krista! SO proud of you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats on the MLT! I never had a doubt you wouldn't. :) Do you mind if I share your study tips with my students?

    ReplyDelete
  4. No problem! Go right ahead. Anything to help out other future MLTs :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats ! I'm about to write my exam in 10 days and I am freaking out ! Do you mind if I ask how in detail the exam is ? Any tips on calming my nerves ??! Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's hard to explain how "detailed" the exam is. I found overall it was pretty general and didn't ask any nitpicky details but some subjects went more in depth than others. At this point you are so close you can't try to learn much more. I would just review general concepts and notes so you don't burn yourself out! Overall I found the exam much easier than I was expecting though. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for your reply ! I sure hope it is easier than what I'm thinking because at this point I'm not even sure I can remember everything I've learnt lol.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think everyone feels that right before. If you are worried about forgetting a certain aspect, study it right before and write it on your scrap paper as soon as you go in!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That would be writing down a lot ! I'm just having a hard time thinking I have everything I need to know in my head and not having an idea of how the exam is worded nor what I should be focusing on and in detail is making me feel ridiculously anxious :/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Have you seen the three example questions on the CSMLS exam handbook? They are very very similar to that (at least I found)

    ReplyDelete
  11. No I haven't. Where can I find those ? Thanks again for helping me out :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Email me krista@medlabmaven.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good karma in your battle for a free suitable government funded education for your youngster!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I likewise imagine that most teachers truly are attempting to do as well as can be expected with what they have, and they presumably feel that their style or theory of what they're doing is the most ideal approach to do it. https://pune365.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Along these lines, when you study for tests, the best investigation abilities additionally incorporate dealing with your body and your own needs while you utilize the above examination aptitudes to get ready for your test. For more data on Getting Good Grades, look at the Good Grades Guide.diploma of school age education and care melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hotmail Most of us had heard the name of Hotmail. First free email service in the early years of the 2000s. I am sure many of you had an account there too. Today we will talk about Hotmail and also will discuss how we can use the new version of this email service in 2020.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. hotmail.com loign

    ReplyDelete
  18. Another significant thing to have as a quality is the capacity to take bearings. In the event that you have been accustomed to having your own particular manner, that will be tested once you reemerge school. https://thekatynews.com/2020/05/22/research-paper-formats-apa-mla/

    ReplyDelete

  19. best info article published here thank u so much oracle training in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. cfa level 1 mock exam 2019 pdf

    ReplyDelete
  21. This particular is usually apparently essential and moreover outstanding truth along with for sure fair-minded and moreover admittedly useful My business is looking to find in advance designed for this specific useful stuffs… cfa level 1 mock exam 2019 pdf

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yahoo mail is an web based email service. Yahoo mail service can be accessed through different devices including computer, tablets, smart phones, and more. Users with a valid Yahoo account can sign into Yahoo com to access the features of Yahoo mail. A smile web browser can be used to sign into Yahoo.com. Users can also download Yahoo app to their mobile phone and login to their account. yahoo mail sign in

    ReplyDelete
  23. buy smart carts online. organic smart cart. are the high potency distillate free from any solvents. If this product was accurate with its claim.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Stonersdankshop established in 2016 in United States has been the best vape shop exporting vape products online to most vape shops in USA and to vape .. buy exotic carts online

    ReplyDelete
  26. Enrich your experience of online shopping by navigating our Skin Care products including Hair removal products, Facial cleansing brush, Epilators and much ...

    IPL HAIR REMOVER,
    FACIAL BRURSH,
    HAIR TRIMMER,
    MICRODEBRASION,
    BLACKHEAD REMOVER,
    WATERPROOF PORTABLE,

    ReplyDelete
  27. Royal photo Booths Australia At Royal Booths,we want to make a good impression with you, hence we go above & beyond when it comes to forming that initial relationship with our customers.

    ReplyDelete
  28. At V P Associates Chartered Certified Accountants and Tax Advisor Accountant services, East Grinstead, West Sussex, we more than just respond to your need. Tax Advice

    ReplyDelete
  29. Our store offers many styles of advanced tpe sex dolls, soft skin made of tpe material, realistic tpe sex dolls to achieve your desire for sex.Buy real realistic tpe ... realistic sex doll

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me. Lean Manufacturing

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for sharing this quality information with us. I really enjoyed reading. Will surely going to share this URL with my friends. CCNA 200 301 dumps

    ReplyDelete
  32. 7 Coolest Offices in California

    When you first heard the word office? What is the first thing that comes into your mind?

    You must be wondering that offices only mean white walls, dark doors, and white cubicles.

    These were the days of the Grey that now has been gone.

    Nowadays, many companies invest their money in the interior of the offices because it’s truly said, “You should love the space where you work”.

    ReplyDelete
  33. 5 effective ways in which you can promote your business

    Every other business owner wants to showcase that their business is the best and they can deliver the best products and services and all they want is to put their services in front of the potential customers. However, there are many traditional ways in which one can promote business but all these traditional ways of promoting can indeed be strenuous and costly......

    ReplyDelete

Leave your thoughts on this post!